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Biography of Honorable Daniel Buck

Daniel Buck came to Norwich in 1784 or ’85, and opened the first lawyer’s office in town, on the hill near the old center meeting house, then just being completed and there continued to live and transact business for twenty-five years, or until he removed to Chelsea in 1809. Norwich then contained probably about one thousand inhabitants, but no village, there being at that time not over three or four dwellings where Norwich village now stands. But little is known of Mr. Buck previous to his coming to Norwich. He was born at Hebron, Conn., November 9, 1753, and was the second son and child of Thomas and Jane Buck of that town. He had been a soldier in the Revolution, and had lost an arm at the battle of Bennington. He had also lived some time in Thetford, which was settled largely by people from Hebron, and perhaps also in Hanover, N. H. He acted as secretary to the council in June, 1785, when the Vermont legislature assembled at Norwich, having been assistant secretary of the same body during their session at Rutland the preceding October. He seems to have been a householder at Norwich at this time, as by a resolution of the council on June 17, the treasurer of the State was directed “to pay Daniel Buck twenty shillings hard money for the use of his house, etc.” For several years the young attorney does not appear to have made much headway in his profession, the townspeople sharing in the ancient dislike to lawyers so prevalent in the early days of New England. The town records...

Burton Family of Norwich Vermont

Jacob Burton It is quite impossible to indulge in even a brief review of Mr. Burton‘s advent into Norwich from Preston, Conn., without repeating something of what is said of him in other places in this volume. Mr. Burton came to Norwich, to reside, in the latter part of 1765, bringing with him his sons, Elisha, John, Josiah, Isaac, and Asa, and his eldest daughter, Anna, who, soon after, married Simeon Carpenter. For some time she was the only young lady in town. Before locating in town, Mr. Burton had purchased two one hundred acre lots of land, which embraced the greater part of the present Norwich village, and built his dwelling-house (the first one erected in town) on the southern and eastern part of his purchase, and tradition has it that it was built directly over a large pine stump, which protruded through the floor, and its top having been smoothed off and recesses made in its sides for cupboards, it was used as the family table. Elisha, one of the sons, built the house where Samuel A. Armstrong resides, and John, another son, built the house now the home of Thos. A. Hazen. Mr. Burton‘s political record is given under its appropriate head in another part of the book.1 Of Mr. Burton it may be said that he was literally and truly one of the fathers of the town. Reverend Doctor Asa Burton Was born at Stonington, Conn., August 25, 1752, and was the sixth of the thirteen children of Jacob Burton. His parents removed to Preston, Conn., when he was about one year old. Here his...

Brown Family of Norwich Vermont

The parents, birth, and birthplace of Ebenezer Brown are not known. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1778. He studied for the ministry and preached for a time in Bethel, Vt., but was never ordained. He soon settled in Norwich as a farmer on a farm on Christian St., lately occupied by Roswell Tenney, where he died May 10, 1830, aged 80 years. He was familiarly known in Norwich as “Deacon Brown.” He married Patience, daughter of Samuel Bell of Norwich. Ebenezer Brown, son of Shubael and Edith (Bradford) Brown, came to Norwich at an early age from Canterbury, Conn. He graduated from Dartmouth College, 1787; studied law with Hon. Daniel Buck, and opened the first law office on Norwich Plain, and there practiced his profession till his death, September 25, 1822. He was assistant judge of Windsor County Court in 1814 and chief judge of the court in 1815. He married (1) Anna, daughter of Hon. Thomas Murdock, January 13, 1793, and (2) Mary, daughter of Rev. Josiah Dana of Barre, Mass., January 12, 1814. He was brother of John Brown, many years first constable of Norwich and otherwise prominent in town affairs. Mr. Brown‘s first wife was mother of the late Miss Julia Brown, and his second wife mother of the late Mrs. Mary Godfrey, both of...

Boardman Family of Norwich Vermont

Samuel Borman emigrated from Devonshire or Somersetshire, England, in 1639, and settled in Wethersfield, Conn., in 1641, where he died in 1673. His name is identified with many official positions in the early history of the Colony. The following is a copy of an original letter to Samuel Borman from his mother, carefully preserved by William Boardman of Wethersfield, Conn., one of her seventh generation: “Obrydon, the 5th of February, 1641. “Good Sonne, I have received your letter; whereby I understand you are in good health, for which I give God thanks, as we are all. Praised be God for the same. Whereas you desire to see your brother Christopher with you, he is not ready for so great a journey, nor doe I think he dare take uppon him so dangerous voige. Your five sisters are all alive and in good health and remember their love to you. Your father hath been dead almost this two years and this troubling you no farther at this time I rest praying to God to bless you and your wife unto whom we all kindly remember our loves. “Your ever loving mother, “Julian Borman.” The names “Borman” and “Boreman” appear on the Wethersfield records until 1712; afterwards it appears as “Bordman,” and later on as “Boardman.” Capt. Nathaniel Boardman, great-grandson of Samuel Borman who settled in Wethersfield, Conn., in 1641, was born there in 1734; was captain of a militia company during the French and Indian war; in 1758 married Esther Carver, a lineal descendant of Governor Carver of Plymouth Colony; in 1775 removed from Bolton, Conn., to Norwich, Vt., with...

Blaisdell Family of Norwich Vermont

Michael Blaisdell, the progenitor of the family in Norwich, came from Plainfield, N. H., in the year 1813, and settled on the farm where Henry S. Goddard now lives. His sons were Jonathan, Levi, Stephen, and Thomas. Of these Levi and Stephen spent their lives in town and reared large...

Baxter Family of Norwich Vermont

The Baxters of this town came here from Norwich, Connecticut, a town which their ancestors with others from Norwich, England, assisted in founding about the year 1632. Elihu Baxter, with his young wife, Tryphena Taylor, to whom he was married October 24, 1777, arrived in Norwich the same year, and here fifteen children (six daughters and nine sons) were born to them, twelve of whom lived to grow up and have families of their own. Mr. Baxter settled on the farm that subsequently became the home of Hon. Paul Brigham. He later removed to the farm where Orson Sargent lives, and there built himself a frame house, a part of which is now in use by the present owner of the property. Of his children: William Baxter, the eldest, born August 3, 1778, studied law with Hon. Daniel A. Buck of Norwich, and removed to Bennington, Vt., where he soon became the leading lawyer in that part of the state, and received many honors from his town and county. He married Lydia Ashley of Norwich, August 17, 1779, and died at Bennington October 1, 1826, aged forty nine years. Hiram Baxter settled in Bennington a little after 1800. Elihu Baxter, Jr., the third child, born in 1781, died at Portland, Me., in 1863, where he had been in the practice of medicine for many years. Chester Baxter, born in 1785, died at Sharon, Vt., in 1863. He married Hannah Root and they had one daughter who married, Deane. James Baxter, the sixth son, born in 1788, established himself at Stanstead, L. C., in 1817, where he became very prominent...

Free Masonry in Norwich Vermont

It does not appear that any Masonic Lodge has ever existed in Norwich. Quite a number of our citizens, however, as might be expected, have at different times belonged to lodges in adjacent towns. In the list of members of Franklin Lodge, established at Hanover, N. H., in 1796, we find the names of the following Norwich men, with the year of their admission: Reuben Hatch, Freegrace Leavitt (1798), William Sumner (1799), Thomas Brigham, Erastus Leavitt, and Moses Hayward (1800), Reuben Partridge, Andrew Dewey, William Little, Levi Richards, Aaron West (1801-1807), Lyman Lewis, Elijah Slafter, Simon Baldwin, Enos Lewis, Jasper Johnson, Noah Lewis (1808), Charles Hutchins, Sewell Gleason (1809), Ephraim Hall, George Olds, Jr., and Pierce Burton (1810), Manly G. Woodbury, Silas Morse, Ammi B. Allen, and Barzilla Bush, Jr. (1813-1820). The roll probably bears other Norwich names that we do not now recognize. The Franklin Lodge was moved to Lebanon in 1821, where it still flourishes. In 1807 and 1808, Doctor Thomas Brigham of Norwich was master of the lodge, who, on his sudden departure from town and abandonment of his family, was promptly expelled therefrom by notice published in the Vermont Journal at Windsor, in April, 1809, ”for immoral conduct unworthy a Mason and a gentleman.” Other Norwich Masons of that time, not of the Franklin Lodge, were Captain Calvin Seaver, Jeremiah Bissell, Ebenezer Spear, 2nd, Lyman Baldwin, and William Leconte. At the height of the Anti-Masonic agitation, about 1830, a great commotion was raised in the North Congregational Church, growing out of the refusal of the majority of the church, led by Deacon Israel Newton, to...

History of the Merchants of Norwich VT

Peter Olcott had a store near his residence at the Center, in the time of the Revolutionary War. Abel Curtis was for a time associated with him in this business. Stephen Burton, eldest son of Elisha Burton and a graduate of Dartmouth College in 1790, was probably the first to open trade at Norwich Plain, prior to the year 1800. Ichabod Marshall of Hanover, also a Dartmouth graduate in 1790, is understood as having been engaged in mercantile business in Norwich (possibly in partnership with Stephen Burton) for several years. Both these young men emigrated to the West early in the century, Burton to central New York where he died in 1812, and Marshall to Ohio in the year 1818. George Woodward kept store before 1799 in the building now occupied by Mrs. Gardner Davis as a dwelling. Oliver Hatch was in trade on the corner where F. W. Hawley is in business. In 1801 or 1802, he was succeeded by William Little, who came from Strafford and bought the store building and prosecuted business there till about 1816, part of the time in company with Jona Lovejoy from Boston. They dissolved partnership in 1809. About this time a store was kept by Charles Hutchins from Concord, N. H., in the building that in later years became the residence of the late Jas. S. Currier, just north of “Newton Inn.” Little and Lovejoy were succeeded by Waterman Ensworth and Rufus Hatch, Cyrus Partridge, not long after, becoming a member in place of Mr. Hatch. Capt. Ethen Burnap was a merchant in Norwich from about 1817 to 1828 or ’29,...

History of the Industries of Norwich VT

Although the products of the industries in Norwich have not been of great magnitude they have been quite varied in character. Such information in regard to these callings as we have been able to obtain we will present to our readers, though not in strict chronological order. Among the earliest establishments coming under this head was a grist mill established as early as 1770, by Hatch and Babcock on Blood Brook, on or near the site of the grist mill now operated by J. E. Willard, a short distance up the stream from where it empties into the Connecticut River. As has been stated in a previous chapter, it was voted at a proprietors’ meeting held September 17, 1770, to give to Joseph Hatch and Oliver Babcock the “tenth river lot on condition they execute a deed * * * * for upholding a grist mill where said gristmill now stands.” Since the ownership by Hatch and Babcock this property has been in the possession among others of Aaron Storrs, who sold it in 1793 to Doctor Joseph Lewis; Horace Esterbrook, who sold it to J. J. Morse; the latter to G. W. Kibling; Kibling to Crandall and Burbank; they to Doctor Rand of Hartford, Vt., and from the latter’s estate, J. E. Willard, the present proprietor, bought it. During Mr. Kibling‘s ownership of the property he had a department for making doors, window sashes, etc., in addition to a grist mill. In 1766, Jacob Burton built a saw mill on the north bank of Blood Brook, a little further down the stream than Messenger and Hazen‘s late tannery...

Geographical Names of the Norwich VT Locality

Of the little settlements in the township of Norwich which seem to be existing in the sunset of their former glory, may be mentioned Beaver Meadow, or West Norwich. This place presents a notable instance of that decline in population and decay of business interests in a rural community, of which Vermont affords many examples since the advent of railroads and the fever of western emigration set in. For more than thirty years population, wealth, and enterprise have been drifting away from that section of the town. Probably the settlement reached the height of its prosperity previous to 1840. During the decade that preceded this date two churches were built here, a Baptist church in 1835, and Methodist church about two years later. Regular meetings were held, and full congregations gathered from the immediate neighborhood. Large families of children filled the schools, to the number of sixty pupils of a winter, sometimes. The village had for many years its well-stocked country store, and a variety of mechanics’ shops. Intelligent and thrifty farmers cultivated the productive farms. Before 1850 the exodus commenced. The Baptist society had its last settled minister in 1869, and a few years later, the church having become nearly extinct, the meeting house was taken down, and the lumber used to build a parsonage for the Baptist church in Sharon village. Four years earlier the Methodists had their last regular appointment from the Conference, though regular preachers were had some portion of the time much later. Many farms tilled forty years ago are wholly abandoned as homesteads, and others are in process of abandonment. It is impossible...
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